Meet Microsoft’s ‘Gatekeeper of Funding’FINANCE
• Now that Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid, it’s up to Microsoft’s self-described “gatekeeper of funding” Christopher P. Liddell to plot the company’s next chess move. [DealBook/NYT]
• Fearful that 90 percent of TheStreet.com’s franchise revolves around Jim Cramer, today the finance-driven Website launched Mainstreet.com, which will revolve around celebrities and personal finance. You think Britney’s psychological drama is intense? Wait until you hear about her bond portfolio. [NYP]
• France’s rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel might have had an accomplice. How did police find out? By sifting through 2,000 pages of instant-message traffic. Bet that was a gr8 time. [NYT]
Jeff Bewkes Starts Cleaning House at Time WarnerMEDIA
• At least 75 Time Warner layoffs are expected to be announced today. The layoffs are among CEO Jeff Bewkes’s first public tasks since taking the helm of the company from Dick Parsons last month. Earlier today, Time Warner announced a 41 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings. [MSNBC& AdAge]
• Maybe some of those Time Warner folks can hang their hats over at Condé Nast. The Observer evaluates Portfolio’s recent spending spree, during which it recruited top talent from The New Yorker, the Post, and the Times. [NYO]
• (Product)Red, the love child of Bono, iPod, and the Gap, has raised more than $22 million for fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. But considering the big advertising bucks spent during the Super Bowl and elsewhere, some are arguing that it’s not enough. [NYT]
Bush Says State of the Union Will Mostly Address Economy; Guest List Begs to DifferAre you guys as excited for President George Bush’s State of the Union Address tonight as we are? Hoo-ah! Wait. You realized there still is a president, even though everybody’s busy trying to pick who the next one will be, right? We know, it’s hard to remember. And even though there are primaries tomorrow, tonight belongs to current president George Bush. Early reports say that his address will largely focus on the economy, which is probably what most ordinary citizens are hoping he will talk about. “Expect few surprises and no big initiatives,” says the Associated Press. Housing reform will come up, press secretary Dana Perino says, as well as health care and veteran’s care, alternative energy sources, climate change, faith-based initiatives, and conditional troop withdrawal in Iraq.
But today the list of Presidential guests has been released for the event. These are the people who sit up with Laura Bush in the balcony, who are generally alluded to in the text of the speech (to much unilateral applause). In addition the lovely Bush twins and that sexpot Lynn Cheney, we’ve summarized the guest list for you.
City Free of ‘Sex and the City’ Movie! ...For NowMets pitcher John Maine asked an attractive clubgoer at Touch if he could try on her black dress in the bathroom. Sex and the City wrapped up shooting in New York with a party at the Royalton Hotel. Bill Clinton swapped seats with Oscar de la Renta so he could sit next to Penélope Cruz instead of Anna Wintour at the Spanish Institute Gold Medal Gala. Lame duck Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is annoyed that his name wasn’t included in a recent Post article about 2009 gubernatorial contenders. Tommy Hilfiger made $8.5 million when he sold the East Hampton home he bought a year and a half ago for $26.5 million. Bobby Cannavale dropped his 47-year-old girlfriend for 22-year-old Alison Pill. Fans of Law & Order: SVU are annoyed that Richard Belzer doesn’t have as much screen time as he once did.
Token ‘Project Runway’ Hottie Doesn’t Always Support Clothes-WearingWe don’t want to use the word inevitable, so let’s just say that at last, the predictable nude photos of a Project Runway cast member have hit the Internet. Jack Mackenroth, who we already know is HIV positive and leaves the show on the fifth episode after falling sick with a staph infection, is now fully on display for all fans of … fashion. (Mackenroth also has a cameo in the upcoming Sex and the City movie as “Hot Guy #17,” according to Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column.) It appears he posed for photographer Frank Louis (extensively, and in the buff), thereby exposing himself not only as a lower-back-tattoo enthusiast but also as this season’s most flagrant media hound. Which producers probably won’t mind, considering they pimped his underwear-clad body in the first episode. Go to Queerty.com for all the pics in their bulbous glory, because here at Daily Intel we have a strict “Tell, Don’t Show” policy about celebrity dongs.
‘Project Runway’ Gay Gets Naked [Queerty]
Earlier: New ‘Insider’ Anchor Accused of Having Hot, Naked Body
Allah’s Love We DeliverSome Palestinians claim that Yasser Arafat died of AIDS. Justin Timberlake had Lance Bass and his boyfriend run interference at the opening of his Southern Hospitality so that he could sneak out without running into Jessica Biel. Donald Trump and other captains of industry are fighting to keep the heliport in Hudson River Park open. Firefighters invited to the screening of Adam Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry took issue with Sandler’s financial support of Rudy Giuliani. Jonathan Ames is set to box with another writer. Moby got a surprisingly funny letter from Karl Rove. A.M. Homes is developing a show about the Hamptons for HBO.
Anonygossip Terrifies Hamptons!The society column in The Southampton Press is now anonymously written, and some East Enders are worried. Danielle Steel plans to write a novel based on her ex-husband’s boating incident in France, which left a French doctor dead. Sharon Stone is scheduled to emcee an AIDS benefit at the Dubai International Film Festival, despite the fact that the city has a bad track record on dealing with homosexuals and AIDS victims. Vanessa Minnillo may star in a reality show, though the Lohan knife pictures may be an issue. Peter Beard likes to take Polaroids of topless models. The Olsen twins sold pictures from their 21st-birthday party for $300,000. Paul McCartney performed a surprise show at the HighLine Ballroom with his “almost boy band.” Eli Manning dumped beer on teammate Shaun O’Hara at his 30th-birthday party.
• Eliot Spitzer doesn’t just want DNA samples from all convicts and parolees. He also wants automatic HIV tests for all rape suspects, in a bill that’s dividing Albany, where some Democrats see testing “by virtue of indictment” as a slippery slope. [NYT]
• Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is quickly turning into a tiny local version of Tom DeLay: First came the strategic purge of a community board, now he’s in hot water for accepting a free cruise on Queen Mary 2 after lobbying Cunard to dock the ship in Red Hook. [NYP]
• Accounting assistant could be a pretty lucrative job, provided you’re ready to (a) steal and (b) go to jail. Eileen Koranteng, for instance, parlayed said gig at Riverdale Country School into both a $500,000 windfall and fifteen years behind bars if convicted.
• Chuck Schumer has Lyme disease! The senator is receiving treatments after he was bitten by a deer tick in the Hudson Valley. In an odd coincidence — this is not a joke — he’s proposed a $100 million research grant to study the disease. [WNBC]
• And in a first that doesn’t bode well for the future of the Postal Service, Saks Fifth Avenue’s shoe department got its own Zip Code: 10222-SHOE. Nice PR move, but we’re not sure Saks is ready to embrace the yo-mama-so-fat- she-has-her-own-Zip-Code jokes. [amNY]